nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒07‒13
eight papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. What excludes women from landownership in Turkey? Implications for feminist strategies By Kocabicak, Ece
  2. Impact of COVID-19 on the Egyptian economy: Economic sectors, jobs, and households By Breisinger, Clemens; Raouf, Mariam; Wiebelt, Manfred; Kamaly, Ahmed; Karara, Mouchera
  3. Export Booms and Labor Coercion: Evidence from the Lancashire Cotton Famine By Saleh, Mohamed
  4. Attitudes toward migrants in a highly impacted economy: evidence from the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan By Alrababa'h, Ala'; Williamson, Scott; Dillon, Andrea Balacar; Hangartner, Dominik; Hainmueller, Jens
  5. Islamic financial development between polic stability and economic growth in the MENA region: Estimate a model of Simultaneous equations By Abderraouf Mtiraoui; Mongi Lassoued; Amine Mtiraoui
  6. Charismatic Leaders and Nation Building By Lydia Assouad
  7. Determinants of intended return migration among refugees : A comparison of Syrian refugees in Germany and Turkey By Al Husein, N.; Wagner, N.
  8. Does Pre-School Improve Child Development and Affect the Quality of Parent-Child Interaction? Evidence from Algeria By Lassassi, Moundir

  1. By: Kocabicak, Ece
    Abstract: This article investigates the reasons for women's exclusion from landownership in Turkey. Landownership is a crucial element in enabling greater gender equality in developing countries. I argue that the Turkish civil code (1926–2001) discriminated against women in inheriting small-scale agrarian land, and the lack of alignment between separate feminist agendas weakened their capacity to challenge the gender-discriminatory legal framework. Historical analysis of the Ottoman and the Republican periods identifies the diverse implications for women's property rights of transition from the Islamic-premodern to the modern legal framework. The selected period reveals that rural and urban women were divided by changing forms of patriarchal domination, gendered landownership and paid employment. This division of women, alongside attacks and manipulation by the state, prevented the first-wave feminist movement from acting collectively. Consequently, the civil code granted education, employment, and inheritance rights to urban women but discriminated against rural women inheriting small-scale land under cultivation.
    Keywords: The Turkish civil code 1926; Landownership; Property; Ottoman empire; Feminism; Islam
    JEL: Q15
    Date: 2018–07–01
  2. By: Breisinger, Clemens; Raouf, Mariam; Wiebelt, Manfred; Kamaly, Ahmed; Karara, Mouchera
    Abstract: The COVID-19 crisis may lead to a 1.1 percent decline in Egypt’s GDP during the 4th quarter (April to June) of the 2019/20 fiscal year, compared to the same quarter in 2018/19. Without the Government of Egypt’s COVID-19 emergency response package, GDP in Q4 may have declined by 8.7 percent. Tak-ing the emergency response pack-age into account, we estimate an annual growth rate of 3.8 percent for FY 2019/20. Without the emer-gency response package, annual growth for FY 2019/20 may have been as low as 1.9 percent. The services sector is hit hardest, falling by 10.9 percent, followed by industry at -8.3 percent. Agriculture is the most resilient sector. However, these losses are lower than those expected in comparable countries, especially those that resorted to extended periods of full lockdowns. Impacts on Egypt’s agri-food system are less severe than elsewhere in the economy. Most damage will occur in nonfarm components of the agri-food system due to falling consumer demand. Although higher-income households face the largest income losses, lower-income households also will see their incomes decline significantly. The level of social protection required to fully offset the income losses of poor households is likely to be prohibitive, especially given falling revenues from reduced economic activity. Continuing to gradually open the economy again will be critical for avoiding permanent job losses and increases in poverty for the coming year. The process of re-opening the economy may also provide opportunities for fostering more private sector-driven and sustainable economic transformation.
    Keywords: EGYPT, ARAB COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTHWESTERN ASIA, ASIA, coronavirus, coronavirus disease, Coronavirinae, economic sectors, employment, households, policies, agriculture, industry, services, gross national product, models, economic growth, agrifood systems, jobs, Covid-19, Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES), Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MPED), SAM multiplier model, Social Accounting Matrix (SAM)
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Saleh, Mohamed
    Abstract: Price booms in labor-intensive exports are expected to benefit labor. The surging demand for labor can increase labor coercion, though, if labor is relatively scarce. Using a unique natural experiment, the Lancashire cotton famine in 1861-1865 that prompted Egypt to quadruple its cotton output, and a novel data source, Egypt's population censuses of 1848 and 1868, I document that the cotton famine had a positive impact on labor coercion in rural Egypt. Agricultural slavery emerged, with an influx of imported slaves from Sudan. Owners of large estates confiscated areas with larger (non-slave) local populations. It also had a positive impact on the non-coercive employment in agriculture of local labor. I explain these findings by the scarcity of local labor relative to cotton expansion, and by large landholders' exclusive right to coerce local labor. The findings accentuate the far-reaching unintended consequences of globalization on labor in poorer economies.
    Keywords: Cotton; Globalization; Labor coercion; Labor scarcity; Slavery
    JEL: F16 J47 N35
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Alrababa'h, Ala'; Williamson, Scott; Dillon, Andrea Balacar; Hangartner, Dominik; Hainmueller, Jens
    Abstract: With a record number of migrants moving across the globe, a burgeoning literature has explored the drivers of attitudes toward migrants. However, most major studies to date have focused on developed countries, which have relatively few migrants and substantial capacity to absorb them. We address this sample bias by conducting a large-scale representative survey of public attitudes toward Syrians in Jordan, a developing country with one of the largest shares of refugees. Our analysis indicates that neither personal nor community-level exposure to the economic impact of the refugee crisis is associated with anti-migrant sentiments among natives. Further, an embedded conjoint experiment demonstrates the relative importance of humanitarian and cultural concerns over economic ones. Taken together, our evidence weakens the case for egocentric and sociotropic economic concerns as critical drivers of anti-migrant attitudes, and demonstrates how humanitarian motives can sustain support for refugees when host and migrant cultures are similar.
    Keywords: refugees; migration; Middle East
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2020–05–21
  5. By: Abderraouf Mtiraoui (Université de Sousse, Lamided, ISG, Université de Sousse - LAMIDED); Mongi Lassoued (Université de Sousse); Amine Mtiraoui (Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Université de Sousse))
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between the development of Islamic finance and economic growth on the one hand while developing an innovative literature review highlighting the role of the development of Islamic finance and also the the nature of the joint between political stability as an indicator of quality of governance and economic growth. And on the other hand, we empirically try to discover the direct and indirect effects of the development of Islamic finance and political stability on economic growth and hence the relationship between Islamic financial developments measured by private sector bank loans divided by GDP and political stability on economic growth. Our empirical validation is based on an estimation method, namely the model with simultaneous equations in some MENA countries during the period (1990-2018).
    Abstract: Le but de cet article est d'étudier la relation entre le développement de la finance islamique et la croissance économique d'une part tout en développant une revue de littérature innovante mettant en évidence le rôle du développement de la finance islamique ainsi que la nature de l'articulation entre stabilité politique comme un indicateur de la qualité de la gouvernance et de la croissance économique. Et d'autre part, nous essayons empiriquement de découvrir les effets directs et indirects du développement de la finance islamique et de la stabilité politique sur la croissance économique et donc la relation entre les développements financiers islamiques mesurés par les prêts bancaires du secteur privé divisés par le PIB et la stabilité politique sur l'économie croissance. Notre validation empirique est basée sur une méthode d'estimation, à savoir le modèle à équations simultanées dans certains pays MENA au cours de la période (1990-2018).
    Keywords: Islamic financial development,Politic Stability,Models with simultaneous equation,Economic growth,Modèle à équations simultanées,Croissance économique,Stabilité politique,Développement financier islamique
    Date: 2019–10–21
  6. By: Lydia Assouad (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Can leaders shape the evolution of social norms? I address this question by studying the role of Mustafa Kemal, or "Ataturk", the founder of modern Turkey, in spreading a new national identity. Using a generalized difference-in-differences design, which exploits time and geographic variation in Kemal's visits to cities, I test whether exposure to a charismatic leader affects citizens' take-up of the new national identity. I show that cities visited are more likely to embrace the common identity, as proxied by the adoption of first names in "Pure Turkish", the new language introduced by the state. I investigate the mechanisms and find that Kemal was more efficient in spreading a new identity compared to Ismet Inonu his second man, suggesting that he did not only have a pure informational effect. Using detailed information on the types of activities he held, I find that the effect is mostly driven by cities where he met with local elites, as opposed to visits where he met with the crowd. Results are not driven by places that already had nationalistic preferences and infrastructures. Overall, those results are consistent with the Weberian view that charismatic authority can play a role in legitimizing new social orders.
    Keywords: Leaders,Nation-Building,Culture,Propaganda
    Date: 2020–06
  7. By: Al Husein, N.; Wagner, N.
    Abstract: This study assesses whether Syrian refugees intend to return to Syria, taking account of the economic, cultural and institutional differences between their country of origin and the host country. We develop a simple theoretical model on return migration and optimal duration of stay in the host country to identify the potential trade-offs faced by refugees. We then assess the theoretical predictions empirically with a sample of 577 Syrian refugees living in Germany and Turkey. Three return scenarios are considered: (i) ever returning, (ii) returning when it is as safe in Syria as before the war, and (iii) returning within two years. Refugees in the immediately neighbouring country of Turkey are more likely to regard their stay as temporary (76%) compared to those who fled to geographically more distant Germany (55%, p-value of difference=0.000). Concerning the correlates of intended return, we observe that socio-demographic and economic characteristics tend to have limited predictive power for re-migration intentions, independent of the host country. Similarly, while refugees value freedom of speech and belief, the existence of these liberties does not feed into the return migration decision in either of the host countries. Thus, attempts to impose these values on the Assad Government are unlikely to trigger mass return movement. From a policy perspective, we analyse whether random exposure to positive or negative information regarding return migration impacts on the refugees’ intentions. We find no systematic impact on the decision to migrate back. This demonstrates that host governments cannot expect (rapid) information disseminated by refugee agencies – even if it provides support – to impact the refugees’ decision making about return. Overall, the analysis suggests that neither proximate nor distant host countries should bank on the speedy return of the Syrian refugees but should focus on refugee integration, independently of how long they intend to stay.
    Keywords: Syria, refugee, return migration, information
    Date: 2020–06–16
  8. By: Lassassi, Moundir
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of attending early childcare on the quality of parent–child interactions and children’s cognitive outcomes. My identification strategy exploits geographical differences in terms of exposure to the program, controlling for the period when the program is implemented across Algerian municipalities as an instrument for individual early childcare attendance. I estimate 2SLS regression analysis and employ a difference-in-difference strategy. I use two Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys conducted in 2006 and 2012. I find a positive effect of preschool on the cognitive development of children. In turn, the effect is only significant for mother with negative effect on the interaction between mother and children, which means that there is a substitution effect, mother use this time to do something else. These findings call for future research on parents’, especially mother’s, time use when their children attend early childcare.
    Keywords: Childcare,Cognitive skills,Family–child interaction,Time use,two stage least squares,Difference-in-difference
    JEL: J13 H75 I20 I28
    Date: 2020

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